KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
After a couple of cancelled fixtures over the last month, it was great to get our 3rd XV playing rugby again. We were buoyed by a strong squad, and minimal cry-offs during the week. Many thanks to all who turned out…our momentum continues to grow.
OC’s gave us a prop (Rich Clarke), so that scrums could be contested, and many thanks to Paul Hendrick who returned the favour, to play on their wing and even the numbers back up. Hats off.
The relaxed manor of our opposition (arriving at the cowpatch 5 minutes before kick-off) was a red-herring. From the whistle OC’s started strong and it was clear that they were well-drilled and had some strong individual ball-players. Within 10 minutes one such player had drifted through the K’s defence with little attention from our defensive line, to score the opening try. Their momentum continued, and it was looking ominously like a one-sided affair. K’s dug-in and began to defend well, but handling errors meant we struggled to get out of our half. OC’s notched another couple of tries, without reply.
However, K’s involvement in the game was building slowly, and territory in the OC’s half grew. Some good game management from Bowden at 10 was giving confidence, and the K’s pack seemed to warm up and contest the breakdown impressively.
OC’s attempted to attack from deep in their half, only to see the ball spilt in the midfield, an invitation kindly accepted by the quick-thinking Noon who hacked through, then chased and gathered his kick for a fantastic grounding – our first try of the day.
This gave K’s a noticeable lift, and soon after, quick thinking from broken play saw forwards and back combine - the ball fizzing out to Bowden who cut a fantastic line to run in our second try. OC’s suddenly knew they were in a game and K’s began to believe in themselves.
Unfortunately, before the break, OC’s ran in another try…….but the styles of play could not have been more different, with K’s playing as a team but OC’s relying on individual breaks.
Half time 14 – 24.
What followed the break (whilst being a bit of a blur for the author) is best described as an onslaught of attacking rugby. The K’s pack, benefitting with the introduction of Honess and Jackson, fought hard at the breakdown and began to secure frequent ball for the backline. K’s made break after break from inside their own half with numerous HUGE carries from Philips, Buckle, and new-man Powell (who was like a man possessed in his determination to break through the opposition defence). Whilst details are limited, all aforementioned men crossed the line…but their tries were only scored as a result of immense support play and team commitment. It was a pleasure to watch from the side-line, incredible stuff.
K’s adventures in the OC’s half were, however, interspersed with break-away tries from our opposition, who managed to maintain their lead over us, without looking like the more attacking side. Special mention should be given to Harrison’s ferocious tackling and defensive commitment during the second half – one such tackle made on his on try line (another being a suspiciously looking yellow-card-deserving dump tackle! – thanks Sir).
Final score 31-41.
There were genuinely numerous performances deserving of man-of-the-match recognition…..but the clear winner was second row Sam Powell playing his first game for Kenilworth – a wonderful, energetic, aggressive performance – welcome to the Club, Sam.
Well done Gents – great game of rugby played with fantastic commitment. Excellent to see so many K’s stalwarts playing together and enjoying their rugby. Until next time.
Rich Hall (water boy)